The story behind the winery:
Pillow Road is located in Sebastopol’s historic Gold Ridge District, an area first regarded for renowned botanist Luther Burbank’s successes in growing more than 800 varieties of fruits, flowers and vegetables. Our vineyard today pays homage to an era when the Russian River Valley was filled with flourishing apple orchards, endless country roads and small family farms, genteel country refinement and time-honored traditions.
Proprietors Pat and Anne Stotesbery, creators of Ladera Vineyards in Napa Valley, soon became interested in the finesse of California Pinot Noir. In March of 2006, after scouting multiple vineyard sites, Pat and Anne visited the Pillow Road location, a small Pinot Noir vineyard lined with old Gravenstein apple orchards. Immediately taken back to their roots, Pat and Anne knew that the area would perfectly complement their family farming traditions and trusted that the Pillow Road story would be a true tribute to one of California’s most celebrated agricultural areas.
The Pillow Road Vineyard is located just west of the town of Sebastopol on the southern edge of the Russian River Valley. It consists of 11 acres of which 9 acres are planted to vines; 7 acres to Pinot Noir and 2 acres to Chardonnay. For premium fruit, and to reflect the true finesse of California Pinot Noir, the vineyards include clones 4, 777, Swan and Calera.
Situated only 15 miles from the coast, the Russian River Valley’s calm foggy mornings, clear afternoons and cool breezy nights provide an idyllic climate for growing Pinot Noir. Pillow Road’s vineyards are nourished by the rich Gold Ridge sandy loam soils. The sand allows the soils to drain quickly during a wet spring, while the loam holds on to a marginal amount of water to self-irrigate the vines throughout the growing season, without either over-invigorating or stressing the vines.
The grapes are harvested at night to preserve the fresh fruit characters, then hand sorted and gently de-stemmed to small open-top fermenters where they undergo a 5 day “cold soak” to extract maximum fruit character. Gentle maceration techniques are employed throughout the fermentation to insure proper extraction is reached. The wine is then drained without pressing and aged in 75% new French oak Burgundy barrels for 11 months.
The 2012 Pillow Road Pinot Noir exhibits the quality of this amazing vintage. Lush aromas of fresh raspberries and red cherries are highlighted by notes of cola and cinnamon spice. An elegantly balanced wine, the palate is soft and seamless with bright red fruit, sweet supple tannins and juicy acidity – Classic Russian River.